Hampshire & Isle of Wight

New P&O cruise ship Britannia arrives in Southampton

Britannia Image copyright P&O
Image caption The ship arrived in the city with a flotilla of vessels and tug boats spraying water

The new Britannia "superliner" has arrived in its home port ahead of its official naming ceremony.

The 3,600-passenger vessel is the largest cruise ship designed specifically for the British holiday market, operator P&O said.

It will bear the same name as the Queen's former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997 after more than 50 years of service.

The Queen will officially name the vessel in Southampton on 10 March.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

The 141,000-ton ship, which features a 94m (308ft) union jack on its bow, will then make its maiden voyage to Spain, Italy and France on 14 March.

At 330m (1,082ft), it is longer than the Shard is tall.

It will sail from Southampton during the summer and from the Caribbean in the winter.

In its first year, the ship will visit 57 ports in 31 countries, sailing more than 90,000 miles.

Image copyright Matt Taylor
Image caption Matt Taylor took this picture of the new ship as it passed Portsmouth
Image copyright P&O
Image caption Crowds waving union jacks greeted the ship as it arrived in Southampton

Previous Royal launches for P&O

  • 1935 - HRH The Duchess of York (later HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) launched Strathmore
  • 1959 - HRH Princess Alexandra launched the Oriana
  • 1995 - HM The Queen named the second Oriana
  • 2000 - HRH The Princess Royal named Aurora
  • 2003 - HRH The Princess Royal and her daughter Miss Zara Phillips named Oceana and Adonia

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